Iran’s media reported on Sunday that the country is once again being seen as a potential supplier of natural gas to Europe through a major intercontinental pipeline scheme named as the Nabucco project.
Top-level diplomatic discussions to the same effect have been held in a recent meeting in the Bulgarian capital Sofia between Iran’s Ambassador Abdollah Norouzi and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Mehr news agency reported.
Also present in the meeting – that has been reportedly held behind closed doors – were Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Absorption of EU Funds and Economic Policy Tomislav Donchev, Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov and Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova.
The Mehr report said the meeting focused on Iran’s return to Nabucco pipeline project. It added that Ambassador Norouzi had presented a special proposal from Iran to engage in a new gas cooperation scheme with Bulgaria. The proposal envisaged the creation of a new hub in Bulgaria to satisfy the gas needs of Europe through imports from Iran.
A consortium led by Austria’s OMV is pursuing Nabucco project to pipe natural gas to Europe. It had originally designated Iran as a key supplier of the project. However, the country was sidelined from the scheme in 2008 due to a series of complications that emerged – the most important of which were US sanctions.
Talks over Iran’s participation in Nabucco coincide with a parallel project which is pursued by the Swiss energy group EGL.
Iran said earlier on Sunday that it will present a package of proposals to a visiting top-level Swiss delegation to revive the EGL scheme that is planned to take the Iranian natural gas through Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy to Switzerland and thereon to the rest of Europe.
The growing interest to import natural gas from Iran comes as geopolitical developments in light of the Ukraine crisis appear to be already pushing Europeans to reduce reliance on Russian gas.
EU commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete recently emphasized that the bloc seeks future gas imports from Iran to end dependence on Russian natural gas as prospects for a nuclear deal that would lift Iran sanctions raise new hopes among EU states.
Iran and the P5+1 are already working on the draft of a final agreement over the Iranian nuclear energy program that has a deadline of June 30. The agreement – once sealed – envisages the lifting of certain US-engineered economic sanctions against Iran – specifically some that ban investments in Iran or cooperating with the country in the area of oil and gas projects.
Source: Press TV